Saturday, September 30, 2006

Milestones from the GABF

Greetings from Denver. I'm capitilizing on a few spare moments in Denver, catching up on emails and of course, the ever-important blog. I was reminded of last years posts, just following the GABF and found it remarkable to read. This time last year, we looked at a bottling line on the way home from the GABF and were looking for a building for our new production facility.

This year, our first brew at the new plant on Commerce St should be in process as I type this. We are a short couple weeks away from the first packaging run on our new line, and we've managed a pretty full-sized packaging makeover in time for the new digs. They say nothing happens fast in the beer business, but I gotta tell you this last year has felt pretty fast. Interesting to realize the milestones in relation to our crazy event schedules.

Anyways, we're all pretty excited, and although it's been an intense period for us, it's been a good one. Feeling the momentum of a rabid Ichabod season followed by all of the positive feedback out here at Denver is all pretty gratifying.

For any of you in Denver, make sure to get over and try this year's Pilgim's Dole which was barrel-aged in Dragon's Milk barrels and Existential, our "Hopwine" straight out of the R&D lab.

That's it for now, time to head back in for the Saturday session -


Thursday, September 07, 2006

Beer Grown Up. What a crock.

I haven't looked hard enough to find a transcript, but while listening to sports-radio yesterday, it is football season after all, I heard an interesting beer commercial.

It started by mocking the kitschy side of beer advertising. "Good bye talking beer opener, inflated chair and blinking buttons." It continued speaking of growing up, and how sometimes you need a beer made with quality ingredients, with full flavor, yet still smooth.

You know, Miller Genuine Draft - Beer. Grown up.

What a load of crap.

Besides the obvious beer comparisons, this is so disingenuous, it ought to infuriate the entire listening public. Do they really believe that MGD is that different from Miller Lite or any of the other major-domestic, watered down pilsners? Do they really believe that as a brewer they can create a Miller Lite ad with one hand, and persuade anyone that is more mature than that to come on over to the adult-swim that MGD is having with the other?

It's ludicrous that a company can create ads with chicks wrestling and then try and push their tired, cold-filtered, mumbo jumbo as a mature-person's upgrade. I'm not opposed to silly commercials, in fact I'm not even opposed to watered-down beers made by soulless international giants. I am however, opposed to people speaking as if the customer isn't listening and acting as if we're all mindless idiots that don't remember what they said yesterday.

Be who you are. And don't try and out-craft craft.


Tuesday, September 05, 2006

New Holland Goes Myspace

Our beer Ambassador, Isaac Hartman has done a great job getting a New Holland Myspace account up and running. It has inspired me to get a little myspace-mojo going myself, contributing to the NHB page as well as getting my own profile up and running.

Check it out at

At first, my plan was to dismantle my somewhat-abandoned blog and move it over to myspace. On second thought, I've decided to keep this place running and made another solemn oath to contribute more often. I will have a slightly different bent to the postings here, than I might at the more conversational myspace arena, but I will keep them both. Ironic, or maybe not, that my solution to a page I have trouble keeping up with is to create another one and keep them both.

On the subject of the internet & computers...

It is awe-inspiring how fast we share information these days. I'm constantly amazed at how our expectations have collectively shifted. Whether you're a manufacturer, vendor, customer or student, there is an expectation that information can and should be delivered NOW. The reality of our lightening fast communication serves as an incredible resource, and an extremely productive feature of modern-day business, but it can also create some unrealistic expectations that can be very difficult to fullfill and perhaps not as relaxing of a pace as we once had.

I am a fan of the new-age, but as you've heard me rant about before, it needs balance. Whether sending artwork back and forth for approval and subsequent printing, or managing email lists, we are capable of a broader reach from a smaller base than ever before. It is a rally cry for small business and allowed for a market with real 24/7/365 possibility.

Irony abounds, as I write about balance and how demanding our new-world can be, I was distracted somehow, and ended up returning 4 emails, reviewing a quote and proofing a letter before I realized that I still had this post open. Perhaps focus is a better target in this instance instead of balance!

Anyway, I am and we are committed to the technology and sensibility of the internet. I love how conversational myspace can be, and how functional an online-project manager can be. We'll continue to find ways to innovate and share information, but we'll work to be equally committed to hitting the off button and heading out for a beer.